Debra continued to think about how she should learn EI. She asked an internal training expert for advice on what her options were. The trainer, Judith, suggested she enrol in a two-day public course on emotional intelligence, or she could wait and join an internal programme running in four months. She decided to talk to some of her colleagues who had attended the internal session in the past and, whilst all of them said it was interesting, few of them seemed to think that they were acting much differently as a result.
After this research, Debra's scepticism seemed well founded. It appeared that the traditional training courses either didn't share any of the background research, so the attendees weren't convinced of the importance of EI. Because of this oversight her colleagues didn't engage. Or the trainers explained the background in a very academic way so the importance of these behaviours was lost. People realized they weren't going to learn practical skills, so they returned to their phones and laptops.
Not to mention the content and delivery seemed a bit “fuzzy” to Debra's colleagues – not quite middle-aged ladies talking about “The Secret” but close enough to allow many to dismiss the subject outright. Elena, her colleague in HR, had even said: “I couldn't take it seriously. It was like they had discovered the holy grail. Which meant it couldn't be questioned. And if you did question them, they couldn't tell you what it was made of!”
All of the courses devoted ...